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Population: 4,5 million

Life expectancy is 81,2 and the median age is 37,8.

33% of the population is under 25 and 15,25% of the population is above 65. There are 2,85 physicians per 1000 habitants.

Climate: New Zealand is temperate with sharp regional contrasts. The terrain is predominately mountainous with large coastal plains.

Spoken languages and religion: The national language is English but, Maori is another national language spoken by 3,5% of the population, it is a cultural heritage

Christianity and its three subdivisions are a majority in New Zealand, 11,6% is Catholic, 10,8% is Anglican and 7,8% is Presbyterian. 38,5%. However, we can observe an important part of non-religious (38,5%). Other minorities exist as, Hindu, Buddhist, Maori, Islam.

Non-working days and holidays: There are 10 public holidays per year in New Zealand.

Every employee is entitled to a 4-week paid leave per year.

Employment agreements must fix the maximum number of hours to be worked by the employee at not more than 40 hours per week (not including overtime) unless the employer and employee agree otherwise


Health care sector: New Zealand has both a public and private healthcare system and both offer high standards of care.

In the public system, essential healthcare services are provided free for all New Zealanders and people in New Zealand on a work permit valid for two years or longer.

Alongside the public system, private healthcare offers access to private hospitals for the treatment of both urgent and non-urgent conditions (excluding Accident and Emergency Care). The network of private hospitals and clinics provides a range of services that include recuperative care, elective procedures and a range of general surgical procedures. There are also private radiology clinics and testing laboratories.

New Zealand has around 40 public hospitals spread across the country in cities and larger towns.

With minor exceptions, such as some kind of cosmetic surgery, hospital treatment is free for those eligible for health care services. As well as the public hospitals, there are many private hospitals around New Zealand which can access those who have health insurance.

Doctors: Foreign doctors are allowed to work in New Zealand provided that they have complied with the legal requirements.

If a doctor wants to practice medicine in New Zealand for a long term or for a short term period, he needs a registration from the Medical Council of New Zealand, however, the registration process will be different according to the doctor’s situation (qualifications, experience, permanently or short-term work), but in any case, language skills are required.

Generally, the registration process is composed of different steps :

  • Determine the appropriate registration pathway (a registration self assessment is available on the Medical Council of New Zealand to permit at every doctor to determine his/her pathway);
  • Complete and submit the required forms, documentation and fees to the Medical Council of New Zealand according to the registration pathway;
  • If necessary, undergo pre-assessment interview;
  • If all conditions are fulfilled, the Medical Council grants the registration;
  • The doctor can practice medicine in New Zealand with a practicing certificate.

The Medical Council of New Zealand is responsible for regulating medical practitioners practicing in New Zealand.

Besides, foreign doctors must obtain a Visa to work in this country.

More information:

  • Medical Council of New Zealand:
    • +64 4 384 7635 (for calls from outside New Zealand)
    • 0800 286 801 (toll-free within New Zealand)